Even before the BMW i3 was released, the Bavarian car maker expected that the range extender version would be far more popular than the fully electric one.
Unfortunately, many REx (Range Extended) i3 units were held up in port because they are sporting the wrong sticker on the windshield.
As funny as this sounds, this is actually a legitimate reason, as this sticker certifies the MPG of a vehicle, and it’s mandatory by law. The problem with the BMW REx i3 sticker is that it’s the same as the fully electric version.
“The EPA certification has not been completed so BMW doesn’t have a Monroney label (window sticker) to post in the window before the car leaves the port, which is required by law. The range extender option changes (shortens) the car’s electric range, and also requires an official MPG rating so BMW couldn’t use the same Monroney label as they did for the all electric i3.”
It seems that this whole mess is because of the rather rare way the range extender works. Unlike most other hybrids out there, the gasoline engine does not direct power to the wheels, but recharges the battery pack on the i3, a system few use. Because of this, the tests to determine the MPG were delayed and consequently, the REx i3 is delayed.